Immunomedics Falls as Lead Drug Yields Low Lung Cancer Response

  • Experimental IMMU-132 has 9 percent confirmed response rate
  • Medicine is Immunomedics lead investigational antibody-drug

Immunomedics Inc. fell after reporting disappointing results in an early study of its lead drug for treating lung cancer.

The stock fell 10 percent to $4.05 at 10 a.m. in New York, after plunging 15 percent on Friday when the company ran afoul of the rules at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago and wasn’t able to present data on use of the drug for treating breast cancer. The shares were up 11 percent in the past 12 months through Friday.

The drug known as IMMU-132, or sacituzumab govitecan, initially generated a response with tumors appearing to shrink in eight of 33 patients with advanced small cell lung cancer, or 24 percent, with an additional 11 patients showing no sign of cancer growth. While advanced imaging with a CT scan confirmed three of the eight initial patients who responded did have a lasting benefit, the tumors had already resumed growing in the five others, yielding a confirmed response rate of 9 percent, the company said in a statement.

The median time it took for the tumors to progress was 3.6 months for all the patients in the trial, with a median overall survival of 8.1 months, the company said. The most common side effects were low infection-fighting white blood cell levels and diarrhea.

Only about 2 percent of patients with advanced or metastatic small cell lung cancer are alive five years after diagnosis, with most dying within six months.

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